It begins with Myrina Black. Or rather, the search for her.

Who is Myrina Black? Readers of DC's Free Comic Book Day issue may remember her, but to reveal any more would be a major spoiler. Let's just say she's someone crucial to the plot of "The Darkseid War," the major new storyline that launches with the release of today's Justice League #41. And she has ties to several characters.

But there's a second newcomer that's of even greater importance. Her name is Grail, and as pretty much everyone knows by now, she's the long-teased, much-hyped daughter of Darkseid. As certain baddies engage in their search for the mysterious Myrina, they leave behind a trail of dead bodies that draws the attention of the Justice League.

(It's worth noting that this Justice League story is taking place out of sync with other titles currently running, such as Batman and Superman. So the Batman in this story is still Bruce Wayne, and Superman's secret identity and powers are still intact.)

There's some tidying up loose ends from past issues to take care of, but once Grail makes her grand entrance, the story becomes impossible to put down. And just wait until you see how she makes her entrance. It's an image that could've come right out of a horror movie, and it's going to stay with you, guaranteed.

Not much about the bad guys' plans are revealed, but it seems that there are plenty of them to go around. Darkseid is up to something big, Grail has plans of her own, even the Anti-Monitor seems to be plotting more than just destroying another universe. Other New Gods show up in the mix, most prominently Mister Miracle, who's given a snazzy new suit by artist Jason Fabok.

Speaking of Fabok, he does some stellar work, gorgeously bringing writer Geoff Johns' twists and turns to life. There are a few moments where it feels like Johns might have been trying a little too hard to go for a "cool" cross-scene effect, but that's not because of anything Fabok does. Johns' writing is a little confusing in a handful of spots because of missing context, but this extra-long issue gives him plenty of chances to catch readers off-guard with a well-timed shocker here or there.

It's hard to see whether "The Darkseid War" is going to be a worthwhile storyline until we know more about what the bad guys have planned. But for now, it's off to an entertaining start.

Story:

★★★★☆

Art:

★★★★☆

Overall:

★★★★☆


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